Oando executives got fair hearing, says SEC

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says Oando Plc was given a fair hearing during the period it was under investigation.

In statement on Sunday, Efe Ebelo, head, corporate communications at SEC, the commission said there were various opportunities by the oil and gas firm to defend itself.

Some shareholders of Oando, had accused the company of declaring false profits and insider trading. Following the accusations, the commission engaged Deloitte & Touche to conduct a forensic audit on the activities of Oando Plc.

The audit, SEC said, revealed that Oando had violated extant securities laws, leading to the ban of Wale Tinubu, Oando’s chief executive officer, from being a director in (any) public company for the next five years.

Mofe Boyo, the company’s deputy CEO was also banned while board members were asked to resign, with an undisclosed sum levied as penalty for the various infractions the company was accused of.

Maintaining its stance, SEC said all actions taken followed due process and was in the best interest of stakeholders and investors.

“The attention of SEC has been drawn to various reports questioning the regulatory authority of the SEC, and insinuating lack of due process in the investigations of Oando Plc,” the statement read.

“To put the records straight, SEC hereby states that fair hearing is a paramount and fundamental principle which the Commission as a law abiding agency adheres to in all its investigative processes.

“In the course of the investigations, communications e.g. letters and phone calls were exchanged and meetings held between the commission and Oando Plc, requesting for its comments and explanations on issues relating to the investigations.

“The findings of the commission was communicated to the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of Oando Plc by a letter dated July 10, 2017. In the course of conducting the forensic audit, Deloitte & Touche held regular sessions with members of the board and senior management of Oando Plc, and afforded them the opportunity to provide explanations on issues relating to the audit.

“The commission confirms that Oando Plc was given sufficient opportunity of being heard and accorded several opportunities to rebut the issues revealed by the investigation.

“The responses given by Oando Plc, were, however, considered unsatisfactory; prompting, the decision by the Commission to penalise the company and some of the individuals related to it for violations of securities laws.

“The actions of the commission were properly effected pursuant to the provisions of the Investments & Securities Act (ISA) 2007 and the SEC Rules and Regulations made pursuant to the ISA 2007.

“As the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market, the commission has a mandate to protect investors.”

SEC said all the facts from the audit were properly articulated in the court process filed at a federal high court in response to a suit instituted by the penalised executives to contest the raising of a temporary management team in Oando.

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